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Vardis - 100mph (Reissue)

100mph (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 10 July 2017, 9:48 PM

There were so many bands as part of the NWOBHM movement, and like in a movement, or nowadays called a trend, there are the ones that are on top, in the middle and at the bottom of the chain. It has never occurred to me that the trio from West Yorkshire, VARDIS, earlier in the70s under the moniker of QUO VARDIS, as once a tribute band to STATUS QUO, have been one of the top lists of British Metal bands of the old days. Also, it was my first time listening to their early days, and it was a little different from other NWOBHM bands I was fortunate to explore.

Heading back to 1980, with the band going under the VARDIS moniker almost three years. There had been an extensive awakening of the Heavy Rock, some already referring to the infestation as Heavy Metal. After releasing their debut EP in 1979, a full length album was only logical. However, VARDIS’s debut album, “100 mph” was not your average studio thingy, but a live recorded show displaying a full set that is the debut on its whole. Back then I am sure that it was difficult to start fixing errors and out of sync issues playing live, and in front of an audience, yet it appeared that the trio did it quite good even without making such an impact. Dissonance Productions made it possible for newfound Metalheads to experience the old VARDIS with a chance to compare the hungry days with the band’s current music.

The live undertaking of “100 mph” saw a band with its hand on the throat of Rock N’ Roll, sometimes going through American Southern fields, bearing a fuzzy guitar sound, decent vocals, which at times seemed to lack a bit of energy, and a natural free as bird vibe. Nothing too heavy, just underground Blue Collar Hard Rock itching to be Metal, letting in attributes of the late 60s and early 70s with a few British Punk merits. Generally, there is a nice flow in the songwriting, tunes that aren’t musically demanding, more or less memorable, crunchy groove shared with several shots at the soloing that are quite good. Crispy Hard Rockers as “Destiny” slowly took on a melodic vintage Metal form, displaying a well written riffs that clearly show a development in the band’s approach in comparison to other songs on the setlist. “100 Mph” is no less than a showcase that is bound to remain as a live performance. Playing what I guess was the full songs under several minutes only to broaden the solo part into a full swing lead guitar frenzy, even tributing Jimi Hendrix in the process. Keeping it in the spirit of rather heavier Hard Rock, there are “The Lion's Share” and “Living Out Of Touch”, impressive riff based tunes that kept this album alive and kicking. Others recommended: “Move Along” and the bonus “Streamin’”.

You don’t have to be into BUDGIE / WEAPON UK / FIST or others a like that aren’t the first line of NWOBHM to get into the folds of VARDIS. It tended its groove well with this live recording, and it generated a fine driven Rock spirit for an audience to embrace.


3 Star Rating

1. Out Of The Way
2. Move Along
3. The Lion's Share
4. Situation Negative
5. Destiny
6. The Loser
7. Living Out Of Touch
8. Let's Go
9. 100 Mph
10. Dirty Money
11. If I Were King
12. Too Many People
13. Streamin’
Steve Zodiac - Vocals / Guitars
Alan Selway - Bass
Gary Pearson - Drums
Record Label: Dissonance Productions


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